Digging trenches in Tel Aviv on the eve of war.

Timeline: The six days of war


JUNE 5

Israeli air attacks against Egypt, called Operation Focus, begin at 7:45 a.m. Israel later begins airstrikes in Jordan and targets Syrian air force bases. Syria, Jordan and Iraq begin airstrikes on Haifa. Jordan launches airstrikes on Netanya and other Israeli targets. Jordan and Iraq attempt airstrikes against Tel Aviv. Jordan also begins artillery fire against the city.

JUNE 6

Syrian forces fortify the border with Israel and begin artillery fire. Israel takes Gaza from Egypt. Ramallah and Ammunition Hill are among areas Israeli forces capture.

JUNE 7

U.N. Security Council presents a cease-fire initiative. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser turns it down. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol proposes to Jordan’s King Hussein that a cease-fire and peace talks begin. Hussein doesn’t respond.

The Old City of Jerusalem, Nablus and Jericho are among the cities that fall in Jordan.

JUNE 8

Egypt accepts a cease-fire. Hebron falls to the Israeli army.

JUNE 9

Israel orders an attack on the Golan Heights.

JUNE 10

Israel takes Kuneitra and Masada. Cease-fire with Syria is agreed upon. War ends, with Israel claiming East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula to the Suez Canal.

Bombing suspects in dramatic shootout and manhunt [TIMELINE]


Police emptied the streets of suburban Watertown on Friday in a house-by-house search for a second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing, the day after killing his brother in a shootout.

The night of shooting and explosions in the streets followed the authorities' release Thursday of video footage of the two suspects.

Here is a timeline of events:

Thursday, about 5:10 p.m.

The FBI announces law enforcement has identified two men suspected of planting the pressure cooker bombs that killed three people and injured 176 at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Video footage released by the FBI show a man known as suspect No. 1 wearing a dark baseball cap. He was later identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.

Suspect No. 2, later identified as Tsarnaev's brother, Dzhokhar, 19, was wearing a white cap backwards in the images. The 30-second videos are played repeatedly on national television, and photographs of the suspects are posted online.

Thursday night at 9:04 p.m.

Russian language social networking site VK shows someone logged for the last time out of what appears to be Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's page. The site had been accessed via mobile device.

Thursday night around 10:20 p.m.

Shots are fired at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. At some point, two men rob a 7-Eleven store on campus.

10:30 p.m.

Police discover MIT campus police officer Sean Collier, 26, shot multiple times in his car in an apparent confrontation with the suspects. He was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and pronounced dead.

Shortly after 10:30 p.m.

Police say the two brothers carjack a Mercedes SUV. The owner of the car is held hostage for about a half hour, but is then released. Police chase the SUV into the Boston suburb of Watertown. During the chase, the suspects throw explosives from the car and exchange gunfire with police.

A transit police officer is hurt in the shootout. Witnesses report hearing dozens of gunshots.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev is hit during the shootout. He is taken into custody, transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and later pronounced dead.

Before 1 a.m. Friday

A huge manhunt is launched for the second suspect and hundreds of police officers and FBI agents descend on Watertown.

Between 3 and 4 a.m.

Massachusetts police announce they will conduct a door-to-door search in Watertown. Citizens are warned to stay indoors.

Around 5:30 a.m.

Train service in Boston is suspended.

8 a.m.

Massachusetts officials announce they have expanded the shelter-in-place recommendations for the entire city of Boston, effectively putting the city in lockdown as they search for Tsarnaev.

Compiled based on media reports, official statements from law enforcement and Reuters reporting.

Reporting by Sarah Lynch and Alina Selyukh in Washingtno, Tim McLaughlin, Svea Herbst Bayliss, Stephanie Simon in Boston; Editing by Alistair Bell and Doina Chiacu

Timeline: U.N. resolutions on Palestine


Here are summaries of some of the main United Nations resolutions on Palestine as the General Assembly votes on Thursday on lifting the Palestinian status within the world body from “entity” to “non-member state.”

Resolution 181 – 1947 – Known largely in the region as the so-called “Partition Plan,” this resolution provided for the establishment of an Arab State and a Jewish State in former British Mandatory Palestine.

Resolution 194 – 1948 – Following the 1948 war over the founding of Israel, this resolution called for permitting a return of refugees willing to live at peace with their neighbours, for the demilitarisation and internationalisation of Jerusalem and for protection and free access for holy places.

Resolution 242 – 1967 – The Security Council, after much negotiation, adopted a resolution laying down principles for peace and the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories captured in a war that year. The resolution also called for “achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem.”

Resolution 3236 – 1974 – The General Assembly reaffirmed the rights of the Palestinian people, including self-determination without external interference, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property.

Resolution 465 – 1980 – The resolution condemned Israeli policy of “settling parts of its population and new immigrants” in occupied territory, including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. It called such settlements a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians in time of war.

Resolution 681 – 1990 – Adopted after deadly riots occurred in Jerusalem's old city, this resolution condemned an Israeli decision to deport Palestinians, a measure Israel said was necessary for security reasons.

Resolution 1397 – 2002 – This Security Council resolution formally affirmed a vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognised borders.” It also voiced “grave concern” for the violence of an uprising that erupted after failed peace talks in 2000.

Resolution 66/17 – 2012 – This General Assembly resolution reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements in occupied territory Palestinians seek for a state, including East Jerusalem. It also reiterated the right of Palestinians to establish their own independent state.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

Timeline: Israel and Hamas in repeated conflict


Israel and Hamas have been in regular conflict since the rise to prominence of the Palestinian Islamist group, created in 1987 at the start of the first Intifada uprising against Israeli occupation. Here is a timeline of some of the key moments.

March 22, 2004 – After a wave of Hamas suicide bombings in Israeli cities, an Israeli missile kills Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas movement.

April 17 – Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, the co-founder of Hamas and Yassin's successor, is killed by Israeli missile.

Sept. 1, 2005 – Israeli forces complete a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, captured from Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war, abandoning settlements and leaving the densely populated coastal area under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Jan. 25, 2006 – Hamas wins majority of seats in Palestinian legislative election. Israel and United States cut off aid to Palestinians because Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

June 25 – Hamas militants launch raid into Israel from Gaza, killing two soldiers and capturing conscript Gilad Shalit.

June 28 – Israeli troops invade the Gaza Strip, but fail to find Shalit.

Nov 26 – Ceasefire in Gaza announced, ends five months of Israeli air strikes and incursions that fail to free Shalit.

June 14, 2007 – Hamas takes over Gaza in brief civil war with Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Rockets regularly fired into southern Israel.

April 24, 2008 – Hamas leader offers Israel six-month truce in Gaza but says fate of Shalit separate issue. Talks fail to make progress but ceasefire eventually agreed. However, many rocket attacks on southern Israel recorded during truce period.

Dec 19 – Fragile six-month ceasefire expires as they fail to agree on terms to extend truce.

Dec 27 – Israel launches 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip after Palestinians fire rockets at southern Israeli town of Sderot. A b out 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed.

Jan 18, 2009 – Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza.

April 9, 2011 – The Israeli military kills top Hamas militant Tayser Abu Snima in a raid, saying he was “directly and physically involved” in Shalit's capture.

Oct 11, 2011 – Israeli and Hamas officials say a deal has been reached to swap Shalit for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Swap takes place on Oct. 18

March 12, 2012 – Four days of violence between Israel and Gazan militants leaves at least 25 Palestinians dead and 80 wounded. Eight people in Israel wounded. The exchanges began after two chiefs of a smaller faction were killed in an Israeli strike.

June 23 – Israel says Hamas and other groups fire more than 150 rockets at it in a week. Retaliatory airstrikes kill at least 2 Palestinians

Oct 8 – Hamas and other groups fire more than 55 rockets and mortars at southern Israel. At least one militant killed in Israeli airstrike.

Nov 13 – Three Palestinian militants and at least four civilians die in new round of violence. More than 115 rockets fired into southern Israel. Israeli army says more than 760 rockets have hit Israel since the start of the year.

Nov 14 – Israel kills Hamas's military chief of staff; launch widespread air offensive. Warn of possible ground attack.

Timeline: A history of Iranian Jews


722 B.C.E.

After Shalmaneser V conquers the kingdom of Israel, a group of captive Jews said to be descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel is sent into exile in Persia.

605-562 B.C.E.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire,  conquers Judah and Jerusalem and sends a group of Jews into exile in the city of Isfahan in Persia. A Jewish quarter is built in the city for the Jews, which is named Judea (Yahudieh). The city of Isfahan also has been mentioned as being called Judea by some Islamic historians.

586 B.C.E.

Babylonians destroy the First Temple
in Jerusalem.

537 B.C.E.

After the overthrow of Babylon by the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire, a group of captive Jews, along with the prophet Daniel, is allowed to reside in Iran and practice its religion freely. They settle in the capital city of Susa, southern Iran. The shrine of Daniel is in Susa.

521 B.C.E.

King Cyrus allows the Jewish pilgrims in Persia to return to Israel to rebuild the Second Temple. After his death, the new king of Persia, Darius the Great, orders completion of the construction of the Second Temple. 

486-465 B.C.E.

The third king of the Achaemenid Empire, Ahasuerus, comes to power. Haman and his wife, Zeresh, plot to murder all the Jews of Persia. The plan is foiled by Esther, the Jewish queen of Persia. The Jewish holiday Purim is a remembrance of this event. The tombs of Esther and her cousin Mordecai are in the city of Hamadan, Iran.

520-330 B.C.E.

After the relocation of the capital city in Persia by the Achaemenid Empire kings, the Jews of Iran start moving to new capital cities. Cities such as Shiraz and Hamadan attract many Jews.

330-323 B.C.E.

Greeks led by Alexander invade and conquer Iran. Despite the Iranian cultural conflict with Hellenism, historians agree that Alexander treated the Jews respectfully.

247 B.C.E.-224 C.E.

Brothers Arashk and Tirdat come to power. Arashk is to become the first king of the Arsacid (or Parthian) dynasty. Under the reign of Parthians, Iranian Jews live in prosperity.

135 C.E.

Religious persecution of Jews in Palestine by the Romans brings many Jewish refugees into the Parthian Empire.

226-651 C.E.

The last Parthian king is overthrown by Ardashir I, and the Sassanid dynasty is founded. For the first time in the history of Iran, Jews suffer occasional persecution.

634-1255 C.E.

Arabs invade Iran and suppress all the rebellions. Islamic rules begin to be imposed and conversion to Islam occurs gradually. Jews, along with other religious minorities — Christians and Zoroastrians —  are persecuted, and social restrictions and discriminations are imposed.

1256-1318 C.E.

Mongols capture Persia. The situation for Persian Jews becomes more dangerous when the seventh ruler of the Mongolian Empire, Ghazan Khan, converts to Islam in 1295. Jews are forced to convert to Islam.

1502-1925 C.E.

Safavid and Qajar dynasties come to power. Shia Islam is proclaimed to be the state religion. Mistreatment of Jews continues occasionally. Because of the persecution, thousands of Persian Jews immigrate to Palestine between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 19th century, Jews in the city of Mashhad are forced to convert to Islam, but many of them keep practicing Judaism in the privacy of their homes.

1925-1979 C.E.

Pahlavi dynasty comes to power. Modernization and reforms are imposed, and Jewish life starts to improve.

1979 to present

The Islamic Revolution turns the Iranian kingdom into an Islamic republic. Since the revolution, the number of Jews has decreased from 120,000 to fewer than 20,000. Iranian Jews have mostly immigrated to the United States — particularly Los Angeles — and to Israel.


Iranian Jews: The art, culture and history

Timeline: Violence in Syria


Following is a timeline of events in Syria since protests began.

2011

March 15 – About 40 people join a protest in Old Damascus, chanting political slogans in a brief first challenge to the ruling Baath Party before dispersing into side streets.

March 18 – Security forces kill three protesters in southern Deraa, residents say. The demonstrators were demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption.

March 22 – Hundreds of people march in Deraa and Nawa demanding freedom in the fifth straight day of demonstrations challenging the government.

March 24 – President Bashar al-Assad orders the formation of a committee to raise living standards and study scrapping the emergency law in place in Syria for the last 48 years.

March 25 – At least 200 people march in Damascus and there are reports of at least 23 dead around the country including, for the first time, in Damascus.

March 29 – Government resigns. Assad appoints Naji al-Otari, head of the government that stepped down, as caretaker prime minister. Thousands of Syrians hold pro-government rallies.

April 19 – Government passes bill lifting emergency rule.

July 31 – Syrian tanks storm Hama, residents say, after a month-long siege. At least 80 people are killed.

Demonstrators protest against Syria’s President Bashar Assad on Nov. 18, 2011. Photo by REUTERS

Sept. 15 – Syrian opposition activists announce a Syrian National Council to provide an alternative to government.

Nov. 12 – Arab League suspends Syria.

Dec. 7 – Assad denies ordering troops to kill peaceful demonstrators, telling U.S. television channel ABC only a “crazy” leader kills his own people.

Dec. 19 – Syria signs Arab League peace plan and agrees to let observers into the country to monitor the deal.

Dec. 23 – Twin suicide bombs target two security buildings in Damascus, killing 44 people. Syria blames al Qaeda while the opposition blames the government.

2012

Feb. 4 – Russia and China veto a resolution in U.N. Security Council, backed by Arab League, calling for Assad to step down. The General Assembly approves a resolution on Feb. 16 endorsing the Arab League plan calling for Assad to step aside.

Feb. 22 – More than 80 people are killed in Homs including two foreign journalists. Hundreds of people have now been killed in daily bombardments of the city by Assad’s besieging forces.

Feb. 23 – Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is appointed U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria.

Feb. 24 – Foreign ministers from more than 50 countries meet in Tunis for the inaugural “Friends of Syria” meeting. Russia and China, allies of Syria, do not attend.

Feb. 28 – Assad decrees that a new constitution is in force after officials say nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed it in a Feb. 26 referendum. Opponents and the West dismiss it as a sham.

Syrian and Lebanese protesters in Wadi Khaled village, north Lebanon on April 1. Photo by REUTERS/Roula Naeimeh

March 1 – Syrian rebels pull out of the besieged Baba Amr district of Homs after more than three weeks of bombardment.

March 11 – Annan ends talks with Assad and leaves Syria with little sign of progress.

March 27 – Syria accepts the U.N.-sponsored peace plan.

April 1 – At second “Friends of Syria” meeting, Western and Arab nations warn Assad not to delay adopting the peace plan.

April 12 – U.N.-backed ceasefire comes into effect. Four days later monitors start their mission in Syria to oversee the ceasefire which is undermined by persistent violence.

May 7 – Syria says voters turned out in large numbers for a parliamentary election it sees as central to a reform program. Opposition supporters denounce the exercise as a sham.

May 10 – Annan condemns attacks in Damascus in which two bomb explosions kill 55 people and wound 372, damaging an intelligence complex involved in Assad’s crackdown. A week later U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he believes al Qaeda was responsible. He also says 10,000 people have now been killed.

May 25 – At least 108 people are killed, including many children, in attacks in the region of Houla in one of the bloodiest days of the conflict.

People gather at a mass burial for the victims purportedly killed during an artillery barrage from Syrian forces in Houla on May 26. Photo by REUTERS/Shaam News Network

May 27 – Security Council unanimously condemns the killings in Houla, confirmed by U.N. observers. Syria denies carrying out the massacre.

May 28 – Activists say Assad’s forces killed 41 people, including eight children, in an assault on Hama. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is alarmed by the deaths but it is clear both Assad’s government and rebels are to blame.

May 29 – Annan says Syria is at a “tipping point” and appeals to Assad to act immediately to halt the violence.

May 30 – Rebels give Assad a 48-hour deadline to abide by the international peace plan or face consequences.

May 31 – Twelve workers are killed near the western town of al-Qusair when gunmen loyal to Assad ordered them off a bus and killed them, activists say. Syrian media blames “terrorists”.

June 1 – Annan says he is “frustrated and impatient” over the continuing killings and wants faster progress in resolving the crisis. On the same day, the U.N. Committee against Torture condemns the widespread use of torture and cruel treatment of detainees in Syria.

For an Interactive look at Syria click here.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Andrew Heavens

Timeline of Iraq war


President Barack Obama said on Friday the United States will remove the remainder of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year and that “after nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

Here is a timeline of major events related to the war.

Oct. 11, 2002: The U.S. Congress votes overwhelmingly to authorize President George W. Bush to use force against Iraq, giving him a broad mandate to act against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The Bush administration had argued that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction posed an immediate threat to U.S. and global security. Bush said that “the gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted fully and finally.”

Feb. 6, 2003: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sought international backing for military action against Iraq in a presentation before the U.N. Security Council, using satellite photos and communications intercepts to try to show Iraq’s deceptions over weapons of mass destruction.

March 20, 2003: U.S.-led forces invade Iraq from Kuwait to oust Saddam Hussein. The U.S.-led effort crushes the Iraqi military and chases Saddam from power in a span of weeks.

April 9, 2003: U.S. troops seize Baghdad. Saddam goes into hiding. Lawlessness quickly emerges in Iraq’s capital and elsewhere, with U.S. troops failing to bring order.

May 1, 2003: President George W. Bush declares that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended” and that “in the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” As he spoke aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, a banner behind him stated, “Mission Accomplished.”

Summer 2003: An insurgency arises to fight U.S.-led forces. U.S. forces fail to find weapons of mass destruction.

Dec. 13, 2003: U.S. troops capture Saddam, bearded and bedraggled, hiding in a hole near Tikrit.

Jan. 28, 2004: Top U.S. weapons inspector David Kay acknowledges to the U.S. Congress that “we were almost all wrong” about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

Spring 2004: Insurgency intensifies with violence in Falluja and elsewhere in the mainly Sunni Muslim Anbar province as well as violence by followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in major Shi’ite cities in the south. The United States also faces international condemnation after photographs emerge showing abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib jail.

Feb. 22, 2006: Bombing of a Shi’ite shrine in Samarra sparks widespread sectarian slaughter, raising fears of civil war between Iraq’s majority Shi’ite and minority Sunni Muslims.

June 7, 2006: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, is killed by U.S. forces.

Dec. 30, 2006: Saddam Hussein hanged by masked executioners after receiving a death sentence from an Iraqi court for the killings of 148 men and boys in a northern Iraqi town in 1982.

January 2007: Bush formulates and announces a new war strategy including a “surge” of U.S. troops into Iraq to combat the insurgency and pull Iraq back from the brink of civil war.

June 15, 2007: U.S. military completes its troop build-up to around 170,000 soldiers.

Aug. 29, 2007: Moqtada al-Sadr orders his Mehdi Army militia to cease fire.

Nov. 17, 2008: Iraq and the United States sign an accord requiring Washington to withdraw its forces by the end of 2011. The pact gives the government authority over the U.S. mission for the first time, replacing a U.N. Security Council mandate. Parliament approves pact after negotiations 10 days later.

Feb. 27, 2009: New U.S. President Barack Obama announces a plan to end U.S. combat operations in Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010.

June 30, 2009: All U.S. combat units withdraw from Iraq’s urban centers and redeploy to bases outside.

Oct. 4, 2011: Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki wins support from political blocs on keeping U.S. troops as trainers, but they reject any deal that would grant U.S. troops immunity as Washington had requested.

Oct. 21, 2011: Obama says the United States will complete a withdrawal of all its remaining troops in Iraq by the end of 2011 after the two countries failed to reach a deal to leave several thousand U.S. troops behind. The Pentagon said there have been more than 4,400 U.S. military deaths in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Compiled by Will Dunham; Editing by Jackie Frank

TIMELINE: Gilad Shalit, held for five years


Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which rules Gaza have agreed on a deal to swap the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for five years, for the release of a proposed 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Here is a timeline of events since Shalit was captured:

June 25, 2006
– Hamas militants launch raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing two soldiers and capturing Shalit.

June 28 – Israeli troops invade the Gaza Strip.

Sept 15 – Letter from Shalit reaches his family via Egyptian mediators brokering a prisoner swap deal.

Oct 1 – Worst internal Palestinian fighting in a decade raises fears of a civil war in Gaza.

Nov 26 – Ceasefire in Gaza announced, ends five months of Israeli air strikes and incursions that fail to free Shalit.

June 14, 2007 – Hamas takes over Gaza from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. At least 100 die in fighting.

June 25 – Israeli TV airs audio tape from Shalit’s captors asking for medical treatment and release of Palestinians.

Sept 8 – Israeli special forces disguised as Hamas gunmen capture Hamas commander.

Dec 26 – Hamas says Shalit won’t be freed unless Israel frees 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, many long-term.

April 24, 2008 – Hamas leader offers Israel six-month truce in Gaza but says fate of Shalit separate issue.

May 12 – Israel says ceasefire deal must include Shalit. Ceasefire talks falter 10 days later.

June 9 – Israeli television says Shalit’s family receives hand-written letter from their son.

June 17 – Israel and Hamas agree to Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

July 4 – Hamas suspends prisoner swap talks in dispute over Israeli blockade and cross-border rocket fire from Gaza.

Sept 25 – Hamas rejects list of prisoners Israel is ready to free in exchange for Shalit, saying it wants more.

Dec 19 – Fragile six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expires as they fail to agree on terms to extend truce.

Dec 27 – Israel launches 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip, in response to increased rocket fire into southern Israel. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed.

Jan 18, 2009 – Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza.

Feb 14 – Gaza truce deal stalls after Israel insists on Shalit release as condition to ceasefire.

Sept 30 – Israel and Hamas confirm deal to exchange proof that Shalit is alive for release of 20 female Palestinians.

Oct 2 – Video is handed over and authenticated in which Shalit looked “pale but in good health”. A Red Cross convoy carries women to freedom in the West Bank and Gaza.

Nov 25 – Israel rejects a demand for the release of several Hamas commanders as part of any exchange for Shalit, signalling talks have hit a snag. Israel has long balked at granting amnesty to Palestinians jailed for attacks that killed Israelis.

June 27, 2010 – Shalit’s parents begin a 12-day march from their northern home to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau’s Jerusalem residence to press for a prisoner swap.

April 9, 2011 – The Israeli military says that Tayser Abu Snima, a top Hamas militant, killed in a raid, was “directly and physically involved” in Shalit’s capture.

June 23
– The International Committee of the Red Cross calls on Hamas to provide proof that Shalit is still alive five years after his capture.

July 4 – Defence Minister Ehud Barak halts the handover of 84 bodies of Palestinian militants to Palestinian authorities, hours after the military said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the move. The stop order is to ensure no harm would be done to negotiations on any future swap deal to secure Shalit’s release.

Oct 3 – Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails join a hunger strike to protest against worsening prison conditions, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs says. Netanyahu toughened restrictions on Palestinian prisoners as part of an effort to force Hamas to free Shalit.

Oct 11 – Israeli and Hamas officials say a deal has been reached to swap Shalit for a proposed 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit and Jerusalem Newsroom

Timeline: Jewish life in Poland from 1098



Recently released color footage of the Warsaw Ghetto.WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES

1098: Information on Jews in Poland begins to appear in Polish chronicles

1241: A new era of colonization in Poland begins and Jewish immigrants are sought

1264: Polish Prince Boleslaus issues the Statute of Kalisz, the General Charter of Jewish Liberties in Poland

Early 1300s: Fewer than 1,000 Jews in Poland

1407: Jews in Krakow are attacked by mobs

Late 1400s: More than 60 Jewish communities are known in Poland; population is thought to be 20,000 to 30,000

1515: Rabbi Shalom Shachna founds Poland’s first yeshiva in Lublin

1525-1572: Rabbi Moses Ben Israel Isserles lives in Krakow, where he founds a yeshiva and writes a commentary to the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law

1573: Confederation of Warsaw of 1573 guarantees religious tolerance in Poland

1500s and early 1600s: Some Jews expelled from Spain move to Poland; Jewish social, cultural and economic life flourishes; population estimated at 80,000 to 100,000

1648-49: Chmielnicki revolt and massacre brings 30 years of bloodshed and suffering to Jews in Poland; golden age in Poland ends

1700-1760: Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Ba’al Shem Tov, founds modern Chasidism

1764: Jewish population about 750,000; worldwide Jewish population estimated at 1.2 million

1772: Partitions of Poland begin between Russia, Prussia and Austria

1791 -Russian government restricts Jews to the Settlement of Pale, which includes lands formerly in Poland

1800s: Tremendous growth of Jewish population (in 1781, 3,600 Jews in Warsaw or 4.5 percent of population; in 1897, 219,000 Jews in Warsaw or 33.9 percent of population)

1862: Jews are given equal rights

1897: 1.3 million Jews in Poland

Early 1900s: On eve of World War I, strained relations between Poles and Jews, with decline of influence of Jewish assimilationists and rise in Jewish nationalism

1918: Major pogrom in Lvov, part of general reign of terror against the Jews

Post-World War I: Poland becomes sovereign state

1921: Jewish population 2,989,000, making up 10.5 percent or more of Polish population

1930: Rabbi Meir Shapiro founds Hachmei Yeshiva in Lublin; it is destroyed by the Nazis and its synagogue reopens in 2007

Late 1930s: Rise of Hitler in Germany and new round of pogroms in Poland

1939: Jewish population more than 3.3 million, with almost 400,000 in Warsaw, or one-third of the city’s total population

Sept. 1, 1939: Invasion of Poland and outbreak of World War II

April-May 1943: Warsaw Ghetto uprising

June 1945: About 50,000 Jews survive in Poland, an additional 100,000 return from the camps and another 200,000 return from the Soviet Union

1944-1950: Mass emigration of Jews from Poland continues to deplete population, leaving about 57,000

1946: Post-war pogrom in Kilce, killing 37 and injuring more than 80

By 1950: Stalinization of Poland instigates anti-Semitism

1956: Wladyslaw Gromulka comes to power; new wave of anti-Semitism results in some 30,000 to 40,000 Jews leaving country

1968: After Six-Day War, a major outburst of anti-Semitism ensues, with more Jews allowed to immigrate to Israel

1970s and 1980s: About 6,000 Jews live in Poland

2007: Jewish population 5,000 according to official counts but estimated at 30,000 or more by Jewish leaders


Dancing to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut at the Izzak Synagogue in Krakow


Texas rabbi Neil Katz talks about his second tour of Poland

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica, Second Edition, Volume 16. Steinlauf, Michael C., “Bondage to the Dead: Poland and the Memory of the Holocaust,” Syracuse University Press, 1997. Maciej Kozlowski, a historian and ambassador-at-large for Polish-Jewish relations for Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. http://www.diapozytyw.pl/en/site/slownik_terminow/demografia/.

A Timeline: Friends in Deed


1955 — American Jewish Committee (AJC), in conjunction with Loyola University president, the Rev. Charles S. Casassa, S.J., starts Summer Human Relations Workshop.

1965 — Nostra Aetate becomes policy of Roman Catholic Church, opening the door to better relations between Catholics and Jews.

First year of Dialogues Unlimited is established by Casassa and Dr. Neil Sandberg to discuss interreligious issues. Thousands participate over five-year period.

1970 — Founding of Interreligious Council of Southern California

1972 — Summer Human Relations Workshop becomes the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations Training, named for attorney Martin Gang, who helped finance the program, and sponsored by Loyola University in partnership with the AJC.

1973 — Creation of Priest-Rabbi Committee sponsored by the Board of Rabbis of Southern California and the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

1975 — Catholic-Jewish Respect Life Committee is created by the AJC, Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Board of Rabbis of Southern California. Statements are published on, among other topics, “Abortion and Related Issues” and “The Nuclear Reality.”

1977 — First Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference, with about 50 Jewish women and 50 Roman Catholic nuns, meets for full day at Camp Hess Kramer in Malibu.

The Priest-Rabbi Committee issues “Lenten Pastoral Reflections,” which states, in part, “We cannot make the mistake of blaming the whole Jewish people (of 33 C.E. or of today) for Jesus’ death.”

1978 — Catholic lay women join the Catholic-Jewish Women’s Conference, which holds annual conference every Nov. 11.

1982 — Project Discovery started by Monsignor Royale Vadakin and Rabbi Alfred Wolf, who hosted Passover seders at Wilshire Boulevard Temple for Catholic students.

1983 — Vadakin and Wolf begin Jewish Intern Program, sending Jewish graduate students into Catholic high schools.

1989 — Vadakin and Wolf publish “A Journey of Discovery: A Resource Manual for Catholic-Jewish Dialogue.”

1992 — AJC’s Catholic/Jewish Educational Enrichment Program begins sending Rabbi Michael Perelmuter to Catholic high schools and Catholic educator Dr. Michael Kerze to Milken Community High School.

2000 — Pope John Paul II visits Western Wall in Israel and inserts note asking forgiveness

Approximately 300 rabbis sign Dabru Emet (speak the truth), which asserts, “We believe it is time for Jews to learn about the efforts of Christians to honor Judaism.”

2003 — Holy Land Democracy Project is created by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Jewish Community Foundation. Provides Catholic educators with training about and a trip to Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Bearing Witness Institute, presented in cooperation with archdiocese, gives Catholic school educators tools to teach about anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and bigotry.

2005 — Pope Benedict XVI, on his first trip outside Rome as pope in August, speaks at a synagogue in Cologne, Germany.

Los Angeles Catholic and Jewish leaders host 40th anniversary celebration of Nostra Aetate at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sept. 22.

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